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Waldrep Receives 3M Scholarship

Thursday, June 12, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

WaldrepPolly Waldrep, of San Benito, had a hunch she'd end up in the automotive industry when she got older. As a kid, Waldrep was introduced to cars by her father, William, who founded Waldrep Autos when Polly was young.

"My dad was a big inspiration," Waldrep said. "He had a small shop and on the side a wrecker service. And pretty much as soon as I got my license, I would haul cars as far as Corpus Christi."

That's when Waldrep realized that this was the industry where she wanted to make her livelihood.

"I would see the adjusters working up there taking photos of cars and estimating damage," she said. "I talked to one of the adjusters from Geico and they told me to go to school and get an associate degree, a little more experience and I could get a job with an insurance company."

Today Waldrep is expected to graduate in August from the Auto Collision Technology (AUB) Program and recently earned a $2,500 Scholarship from 3M as part of the 3M Hire Our Heroes Campaign.

Waldrep isn't a veteran herself but qualified because her older brother, Wayland, currently serves in the U.S. Army.

3M is a global company that produces more than 55,000 products including adhesives, abrasives, laminates, car-care products, dental products and electronic materials.

Waldrep said she'll use the scholarship to help her pay for tuition and tools needed to perform her job at school and in the workforce.

Waldrep said her instructors, especially long-time instructor Jose Vargas, have been instrumental in her journey to earn an associate's of applied science and the scholarship.

"Everyone here has pushed me to be the best I can be and I owe them a lot of credit," Waldrep said. "The instructors are very knowledgeable in everything they do and it trickles down to us. They have a lot of experience in this field."

Waldrep competed at the SkillsUSA State Competition in March in San Antonio and hopes to move to Austin after graduation and become an adjuster.

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